Hot wire showing continuity with ground but not tripping breaker?

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I'm sure there must be a simple explanation for this that I'm missing. I am replacing a switch for an outdoor porch light which should be a simple task. I can re hook it up the same way I found it and it will work just fine and I can walk away. But I don't want to if it's unsafe. When the breaker is on, the hot is showing 120, and the neutral is showing continuity with ground. But with the breaker off, the hot wire is also showing continuity with ground. But with the breaker on it does not trip and the lights work. How on Earth is this possible?

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Dennis Alwon

Staff member
Chapel Hill, NC
Electrical Contractor
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